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The Dangers of High Blood Pressure to Your Brain

  1. Hypertension is a disease of the blood vessels. Many patients with high blood pressure develop coronary heart disease or heart failure and many also die as a result. But all parts of the body that depend on the circulation of blood and many organs suffer the impact of untreated hypertension. One of the organs most at risk is the brain.

What is blood pressure

  1. Blood pressure is the force that propels oxygenated blood to all parts of your body. Your heart is the pump that generates the force, and your blood vessels are the channels that regulate the transport and distribution of blood.

  1. Your blood pressure level is determined by how forcefully your heart's main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, contracts, and by the diameter and stiffness of your arteries. Your heart and blood vessels are affected by a variety of genetic, hormonal, metabolic, neurological, psychological and lifestyle factors that together determine your blood pressure. Because these influences are so numerous and complex, your blood pressure can vary from minute to minute and hour to hour throughout the day. Of course this also depends on your lifestyle at the time.

  1. Blood pressure consists of two components. Your systolic blood pressure is the higher number and is measured as your heart pumps your blood through your veins; your diastolic blood pressure is the lower number, measured when your heart is relaxed and refills with blood between beats. Both numbers are calibrated in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), a remnant of the mercury column used in the first pressure gauges more than 100 years ago. By convention, the higher number is registered first; a systolic pressure of 110mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 70mmHg is written as 110/70 and pronounced "110 over 70."

  1. In adults, the normal values ​​are below 120/80; hypertension is diagnosed at levels 140/90 and above, while readings between 120/80 and 139/89 are classified as prehypertension.

  1. Hypertension is very common. About 74 million Americans - nearly one in three adults - have high blood pressure, and about 54 million people have prehypertension. Hypertension also causes enormous consequential damage; in fact it is responsible for one in six deaths among American adults. Since it affects the heart and blood vessels, hypertension is classified as a cardiovascular disease. But since arteries are essential to the health of all organs, hypertension is actually a multi-system disease. In many cases, hypertension causes damage not only to the heart, but also to the eyes, kidneys and especially the brain.

Different types of strokes

  1. There are two main types of strokes, ischemic and hemorrhagic (see the picture). Hemorrhagic strokes are less common but more cataclysmic; they arise when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and blood is spilled into the brain or the fluid around it.

  1. Ischemic strokes account for about 87% of all strokes and occur when an artery that carries blood to the brain is blocked by a clot. This can be done in two ways. In a thrombotic stroke, a clot forms in a diseased artery in the brain itself. In an embolic stroke, the clot forms outside of the brain and then breaks its way into the brain, where the clot ends up in a normal artery. Emboli arise on atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid artery, aorta or in the heart itself.

  1. Each of these major types of stroke has a milder counterpart. Although large haemorrhagic strokes are incalculable, MRI studies show that small micro bleeds are much more common. Also, many people have minor ischemic strokes, which are classified as lacunar strokes due to their small size. While a simple micro hemorrhage or lacunar stroke is unlikely to show symptoms, a series of these events can cause major problems such as memory loss or cognitive dysfunction (see below).

  1. Hemorrhagic stroke

  1. Subarachnoid hemorrhage

  1. Brain hemorrhage

  1. Ischemic Stroke

  1. Embolic stroke

  1. Thrombotic Stroke

  1. High blood pressure can have unpleasant consequences for your health, so it is important that you take action as soon as possible to lower your blood pressure. To help you with this, I wrote the book '29 Tips To Lower Your Blood Pressure '. This is full of tips and advice on how to lower your blood pressure naturally.

  1. Start immediately! Download my e-book here!

  1. High blood pressure is the leading cause of both symptomatic and silent strokes. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure add to the risk; the higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk of someone running. High blood pressure increases a person's risk of stroke by 220%, according to a Harvard study; According to another study, every 10mmHg increase in systolic pressure increases the risk of ischemic stroke by 28% and the risk of hemorrhagic stroke by 38%.

  1. That's the bad news. The good news is that the treatment of hypertension is very protective; in round numbers: if you lower systolic blood pressure by 10mmHg, your risk of stroke will also decrease by as much as 44%.

Get lost for a moment

  1. Mental decline is one of the most dreaded consequences of aging. But while many seniors experience some changes in memory as they age, most people continue to function at a high level until late in life. They learn to compensate for small changes in the speed of memory recall, and the wisdom they have gained over the years gives them the ability to reason and think creatively.

  1. Unfortunately, many men do not stay healthy and develop cognitive dysfunction. A variety of diseases and medications can contribute to cognitive impairment, and as research continues, it is becoming increasingly clear that hypertension is taking its toll on the aging brain.

  1. Mild cognitive impairment can be a problem, but it is usually quite manageable. But severe amnesia is a disaster; you can think of what used to be called senility, but now doctors use the term dementia more often to characterize these serious disturbances in memory, reasoning and judgment. While dozens of neurological conditions can cause dementia, only two account for the majority, namely multi-infarction or vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

  1. Multi-infarct dementia occurs when small blood vessels in the brain become diseased or blocked and brain cells deprive them of the oxygen and glucose they need. If enough nerve cells are damaged or killed, memory cannot be restored.

  1. This is different in Alzheimer's disease. The problem begins with the accumulation of beta-amyloid, a small sticky protein that interferes with the function of nerve cells and eventually kills cells, leaving neuritic plaques. As the disease progresses, brain cells become clogged with tangles made up of a protein called Tau. In most cases, the part of the brain responsible for memory (the hippocampus) is most affected.

High blood pressure, short memory

  1. Since hypertension causes damage to blood vessels, it is easy to understand how it also contributes to vascular dementia. While the link to Alzheimer's disease is less obvious, research suggests that vascular damage and inflammation to tissue can accelerate injury.

  1. The details vary from study to study, but evidence now suggests that high blood pressure increases the risk of mild cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, and even Alzheimer's disease. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure play a role in this; In general, the higher the pressure and the longer it lasts without treatment, the greater the risk that you run.

  1. Most studies focus on older adults. For example, a study of 2505 men between the ages of 71 and 93 found that men with a systolic pressure of 140mmHg or higher were 77% more likely to develop dementia than men with a systolic pressure of 120mmHg or lower. And a study on blood pressure and cognitive function in people between the ages of 18-46 and 47-83 years showed that high systolic and diastolic pressures were linked to cognitive decline in both age groups.

  1. Doctors are able to ease the burden of dementia, but the damage and disability cannot be repaired. That makes prevention twice as important.

  1. Yes. European scientists have reported that long-term antihypertensive therapy reduced the risk of dementia by 55%. Several American studies are slightly less optimistic. One study linked the therapy to a 38% lower risk. Another study reported that each year of treatment was associated with a 6% reduction in the risk of dementia; particularly in men treated for 12 years or more, had a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer's disease than men with untreated hypertension.

  1. Another study of American men and women linked therapy to a 36% reduction in the risk of Alzheimer's disease; diuretics turned out to be the most beneficial medication. And a team of researchers from Harvard and the University of Boston reported that six months of antihypertensive use actually improved blood flow to the brain, which explains the benefits seen in clinical trials.

  1. It is good to know that controlling blood pressure can reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction. But what about the people who already suffer from mild amnesia?

  1. Maybe. Italian scientists studied 80 patients with mild cognitive impairment. Over a two-year period, the patients on antihypertensive medication were 80% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than untreated patients. This is just one study and a small one in that area. And let's hope the scientists don't forget to follow up with additional research.

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  1. Do you suffer from high blood pressure and would you prefer to get rid of it as soon as possible? Tired of taking drugs that give you even worse side effects? In my book â € 29 Tips To Lower Your Blood Pressureâ € ™ I explain how you can control your blood pressure in a natural and easy way!

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Getting your blood pressure back under control

  1. It is important for both your head and your heart that you get your blood pressure down. And even if you forget that hypertension is bad for your brain, remember that men with normal blood pressure live about five years longer than men with hypertension.

  1. The first step is to get to know your blood pressure. It seems obvious, but more than 20% of people with hypertension are unaware that they have the disease.

  1. The second step is to determine your goal. Even if you have a normal range, try to keep your pressure around 120/80. People with high blood pressure may have somewhat less strict goals; if you are healthy, around 140/90 is reasonable. But for patients with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, carotid or abdominal aortic aneurysm, the target should be less than 130/80.

  1. The third step is live healthy. Lifestyle changes can really lower your blood pressure. It is an essential part of treatment for anyone with hypertension, and because it is better for overall health, it is an excellent plan for anyone with pressures over 115/70.

  1. Here are a few tips to help you:

  1. Salt is not necessarily the problem when it comes to high blood pressure, but the chemical component sodium is the main culprit. A little is fine, but too much sodium disrupts the balance of the water in the body. To 'flush' the excess salt from your system, moisture is extracted from the surrounding tissues. The greater this fluid volume, the harder the heart has to work to pump blood around. Everyone uses table salt on their food, but that amount is not enough to raise blood pressure.

  1. Actually only 6% of our salt intake comes from the salt shaker on the table. The enormous amounts of salt we consume daily (on average 1-2 generous teaspoons) are not only consumed by the salt that we sprinkle on our food. No, you should take a look at the packaging of the foods we receive. An extraordinary amount of excess salt is added to processed foods, easily crossing the healthy limit of sodium intake on a daily basis. A specific example is a ready-to-eat microwave meal with 'roast turkey' that has added salt in the meat, aroma, sauce, filling and potatoes, making it up to 5,400 milligrams sodium.

  1. The maximum daily allowance is limited to 2,300 milligrams per day and even less for African Americans, men, and anyone over the age of 51. If you fall into one of these categories, you should use less than ½ teaspoon of salt per day. Even foods labeled fat-free or low in sugar can still have a lot of sodium. Food manufacturers do this to improve the taste and shelf life of their products. We become addicted to the taste. By the way, all tastes (sweet, sour, etc.) and it is increasingly difficult for us to live without it. How do you do that if you have to lower your blood pressure?

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  1. Notes

  1. Slowly add less and less salt while cooking. And of course, read the labels on the food before you buy it. Remember the amount is 2,300mg for the daily sodium intake and anything above that is absolutely bad. You'll find yourself cooking more and more home-cooked meals instead of processed foods, where you can control the amount of salt you add. Hold on to this and you will find that your taste buds will have less and less need for that excessive salt and your sense of taste will start to improve again.

  1. Intensive research has shown that the more salt you eat, the more you need. If you eat less salt, you will keep adding less to your food and be satisfied with a smaller amount. We have not known a salty taste from birth. A drop of sugar water will make a baby happy, but there is no need for salt until six months. One study found that the children who were fed salty foods during the study versus the children who ate more fruits and vegetables were much more likely to experience food cravings. This affected them even years later. They became addicted to soups, chips, crackers, pizzas, sauces, fries, etc. It is even possible for young children to become addicted to salt, so pay attention to this!

  1. Cultures around the world have used hibiscus to naturally manage blood pressure for centuries, but it was only in the last decade that studies have shown that it really helps. Hibiscus acts as a diuretic, relieving pressure on the vessel walls.

  1. Even more interesting is how it can mimic ACE inhibitors. ACE inhibitors are a common group of pharmaceutical drugs used to treat high blood pressure. They work by inhibiting the release of an angiotensin converting enzyme, which plays a critical role in raising blood pressure. Due to this inhibition, the blood vessels will relax and the blood volume will be reduced, which will also lower blood pressure. While this is certainly not as powerful as the prescription ACE drugs, it can be effective.

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  1. Preparation method

  1. Bring the water to a boil then add the hibiscus and cinnamon sticks (if using) and let it steep for 5 minutes. Optionally add some honey or lemon for flavor and drink it 2-3 times a day. You can also use this to make a nice iced tea for hot summer days.

  1. Coconut water is extracted from the shells of green, unripe coconuts. It contains potassium and magnesium, both of which are related to regular muscle function and as you now know, the heart is a very large muscle. While there are few studies on coconut water's effect on hypertension, many people report that it has helped them lower blood pressure. During the studies, it seemed to mainly affect systolic blood pressure. If you like drinking coconut water, this could be a good remedy for you.

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  1. Notes

  1. Drink 250ml coconut water 1-2 times a day. If you want to drink it once a day, do this in the morning if you want to drink it twice a day, do this in the morning and in the evening.

  1. Of course you will find this in this list! You won't be surprised to see this everywhere, but fish oil and its abundant omega-3 fatty acids are really great when it comes to your heart. While little research has been done on whether it actually reduces the risk of heart attacks or strokes, it has really proven successful when it comes to lowering blood pressure, while also reducing triglycerides and increasing HDL (â € ˜ good ') cholesterol. Heart transplant patients are given fish oil to reduce the risk of post-transplant hypertension.

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  1. Operating Instructions

  1. I prefer liquid fish oil that you can dissolve in orange juice because the supplements can have unpleasant side effects. Take the amount recommended on the back of the bottle.

  1. Hawthorn is a fantastic herb when it comes to heart health. This is because hawthorn is rich in flavonoids, oligomeric procyandins (OPC) and querecitin. Flavonoids have many benefits, but some of the most intensively studied conditions it affects are the various forms of cardiovascular disease.

  1. This includes arrhythmia, palpitations, improving capillary function, regulating glucose metabolism and of course lowering blood pressure and the risk of hypertension.

  1. There are several functions of flavonoids in the blood, but they can play an important role in the dilation of the blood vessels, which ultimately reduces the pressure of the blood.

  1. You can take hawthorn in the form of tea. The tea tastes even better with cinnamon and ginger, which also stimulate blood circulation. Another option is some kind of ball, like in the recipe below.

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  1. Preparation method

  1. Place the cinnamon and hawthorn berries in a bowl and mix to a powder. Add just enough honey and water to make a paste. Thicken the mixture with cocoa powder until it becomes a dough so that you can roll into small balls no bigger than your index finger.

  1. Place them on a baking tray and leave them in an oven at a very low temperature until they are completely dry. Keep these balls in a glass sealed jar in a dry place.

  1. Along with diet, getting more exercise should really be number one on the list. Nothing can replace what exercise does for the body and in a society where we spend more and more time sitting down it can be a little tricky to get more exercise, but it's really worth it, especially if you have high blood pressure. The heart is a muscle and, like other muscles, it will become stronger through exercise. It will be easier for the heart to pump blood and will require less effort, which will lower blood pressure.

  1. Exercise is, in many cases, all you need to get your blood pressure back under control. The top number in a blood pressure reading indicates the systolic blood pressure, which is created because the heart is pumping blood from it. Exercise can lower this by an average of 4-9 millimeters of mercury (a unit of pressure) which is as much as can be achieved with prescription blood pressure medications. A pleasant side effect of exercising is weight loss, which is also good for your heart and blood vessels.

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  1. Notes

  1. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. You really don't have to run a marathon - even simple chores like scrubbing the floors are fine. Anything that gets your heart rate up will improve your breathing and lower your blood pressure. Make this a habit. You really get so many benefits from exercising.

  1. Garlic is one of the most commonly used home remedies. It is rich in beneficial substances, which treat a wide variety of conditions and, incidentally, hypertension as well. There is only a small but. Allicin, the organo-sulfur compound responsible for the various benefits of the garlic, cannot be absorbed by the body as well if the garlic is eaten raw.

  1. Allicin is relatively unstable and is usually deactivated when it comes into contact with a substance with a pH lower than 3, such as our stomach acid. However, when taken in tablet form, you can be sure that you are getting the right amount to achieve good results when it comes to lowering blood pressure. Please note that when you purchase the tablets, that they contain allicin, preferably 1.8 milligrams per dose, so that the blood pressure can be lowered by 10% within 12 weeks.

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  1. Operating Instructions

  1. Read the directions on the back of the bottle.

  1. Eat watermelon faithfully every morning. Often thought of as a summer fruit, watermelon is best known for melon seed spitting competitions and barbecues, but it can also help lower your blood pressure. An organic compound called citrulline, an α-amino acid, was first discovered in watermelon in 1914. Once ingested, the body can convert the citrulline into the amino acid L-arginine, a precursor to nitric oxide.

  1. So basically the citrulline in the watermelon is converted into arginine, a chemical building block, which leads to the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide communicates with various cells and systems in your body about how quickly your blood will be pumped through your body. It will dilate the blood vessels, ultimately lowering blood pressure. Imagine trying to pump a certain amount of liquid through a small opening and then a larger opening. The larger opening will allow fluid to pass through more easily and faster and this is the same with your blood cells!

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  1. Operating Instructions

  1. Every morning you eat the melon on an empty stomach. If you have a blood pressure device at home, try to observe the changes.

  1. In a study conducted in December 2009 and published in the Indian Journal of Biochemistry Biophysics, a group of participants was given 1 teaspoon of cardamom powder per day for several weeks. The results showed a significant reduction in blood pressure. Although further research is needed to determine exactly how this is possible, it has long been known as a home remedy for high blood pressure. In combination with ginger and cinnamon, warm spices that improve circulation, you can make a delicious tea that also helps to keep your heart healthy.

  1. Interestingly, black tea also appears to be beneficial for improving blood pressure. This is probably due to the high concentration of flavonoid, but if your blood pressure is already on the low side, caffeine can do more harm than good. This is especially a delicious warm, spicy tea for cold winter days (and if we want to go on the healthy tour again after the holidays!)

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  1. Preparation method

  1. Crush the cardamom to release the oil, but there is no need to grind it fine. In a saucepan you mix all ingredients, except the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for 6-9 minutes until it turns a rich caramel brown color. Stir in the honey and strain the mixture over a mug and enjoy! Drink 1-2 times a day.

  1. Cat's Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a woody climbing vine, mainly found in South and Central America and most commonly used in the Amazon rainforest. It is named after the thorns on the plant, which are very similar to the claws of cats. It has long been used in its natural environment as a traditional remedy, but test-tube studies have finally provided clear evidence of its promising benefits, and one of these is that it can lower blood pressure.

  1. This is done by widening the blood vessels (called vasodilation) so that the pressure is lowered and the blood can flow more easily. It can also act as a mild diuretic, as it gets rid of unnecessary salt and fluids in the body, which in turn can reduce hypertension. The tannins and flavonoid are most likely the main constituents responsible for these healing benefits.

  1. Below you will find the preparation method for a tasty infusion that will give you all these benefits. An infusion is essentially a type of tea, but infuses much longer as it is made from woody, hard, fibrous plant parts such as roots or (in this case) the bark. There are two things to keep in mind when using such an herb - first, make sure its scientific name matches the one above (there are several other plants known as cat's claw) and second, make sure you avoid this if you are pregnant.

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  1. Preparation method

  1. Place the herbs and water in a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil over low heat and simmer. Cover and let it rest for 40-45 minutes. If the mixture is very strong, add more water. Strain the mixture and add honey or lemon to taste. Drink once a day.

  1. Syrups are without a doubt one of my most favorite ways of getting the benefits of herbs and spices in everyday life. While the word “syrup” might mean something sickly sweet and the opposite of what you want for heart health, that's not the case here. The 'syrups' you see on supermarket shelves may not be the best choice, but homemade syrups are a great way to give yourself a natural boost.

  1. And if we are very honest, with a bitter tea it is quite difficult to maintain this remedy. Blueberries are rich in the flavonoid quercetin, the benefits of which are explained in Remedy 5, and these benefits can also be obtained from hawthorn. You can also use some elderberries for a change and especially during the winter these are great for warding off the cold and the flu!

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  1. Preparation method

  1. Add the dried berries to the water and bring to the boil over low heat. Let it simmer slowly until the liquid has reduced by half. Strain the mixture and squeeze the berries to use all the juices and pour the liquid back into the pan. Stir the honey into the mixture and heat it to make sure everything is well mixed. Now there are two things you can do. For a thicker syrup, heat the honey and berry juice over a medium heat for 20 minutes. If you prefer to keep the syrup thinner, do not boil it. Once mixed, you can keep it in a sealed bottle or refrigerate for 3-4 weeks. Take 1 tablespoon twice a day.

Finallyâ €!

  1. Ask your family and friends for help in improving your lifestyle and talk to your doctor to find the right medication for your blood pressure. It will take patience and persistence, but it really is the best thing you can do.








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